Sunday, October 14, 2012

2nd Annual American Cheese Month Charity Event

Thanks to Feast magazine, I was thrilled to hear about the 2nd Annual American Cheese Month Charity Event that took place last Friday, hosted by Parker’s Table in Richmond Heights. First, I was happy that I had only missed one year and second, this gave me a chance to try out a new wine and cheese store, in addition to eating a lot of cheese at one time!

To help celebrate, American Cheese Month, eight artisinal cheeses were creatively paired with charcuterie from Salume Beddu as well as red and white wine. The event was presented and produced by CheezSorce, a cheese-making consulting company.

It was very hard not to take a lot of cheese at once, I did make my way around the floor a couple of times to make sure I got a good taste of each of the eight cheeses. I was very biased since my favorite local cheese makers were on the list for the evening.

The first stop was Baetje Farms and Veronica Baetje was handing out samples of their Bloomsdale cheese herself. She told me that she hopes to place some of her fruit blend cheeses in Dierbergs very soon.

Another favorite, Green Dirt Farm, was the second stop and they are located near the Kansas City area. Sarah Hoffman was also handing out samples but I spoke to one of her assistants for a while about the dinners they host at the farm. They will bring in a different chef each month to cook the meal, usually consisting of cheese and goat courses. The dinners were so successful that they sold out every single one! (I think that would make a fun road trip weekend.) Anyway, Green Dirt Farm served their Woolly Rind but my favorite is their Bossa…a gooey and VERY stinky cheese.

Another cheese with a strong flavor was the Prairie Breeze Cheddar, made by Milton Creamery from Milton, Iowa. This was the best cheddar of the night and the sharpest cheese.

There were also a couple of mozzarella cheeses and a blue, but my favorite cheese goes to Jasper Hill Creamery from Greensboro, Vermont. They had a creamy and gooey cow’s milk cheese that almost required a fork to eat, with a hint of barnyard flavor to it. Just like Epoisses, the best cheeses are messy!

Here is the full list:
  1. Baetje Farms, Bloomsdale, Goat’s Milk, Bloomsdale, MO
  2. Green Dirt Farm, Wooly Rind, Sheep’s Milk, Westin, MO
  3. Chapel Hill Creamery, Fresh Mozzarella, Cow’s Milk, Chapel Hill, NC
  4. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Flagship Reserve, Cow’s Milk, Seattle, WA
  5. Avalanche Cheese, Bandaged Goat Cheddar, Goat’s Milk, Basalt, CO
  6. Milton Creamery, Prairie Breeze Cheddar, Cow’s Milk, Milton, IA
  7. Jasper Hill Creamery, Harbison, Cow’s Milk, Greensboro, VT
  8. Valley Shepard Creamery, Crema de Blue, Jersey Cow and Sheep's Milk, Long Valley, NJ